A day in the E.R.
The Saturday after Thanksgiving is probably not the best time to go to a pediatric E.R. It’s full of babies that should’ve been seen by their pediatricians on Thanksgiving Day or the Friday afterwards, but weren’t because no one’s pediatrician is open on Thanksgiving, or people are on the road home so they figure they will wait one more day to see if that croupy cough goes away on its own.
Luckily Ana and I got to Westchester about 5 minutes before the rush of sick babies and toddlers showed up, and so Ana got her own room in the E.R. where we were stuck for about five hours. I felt very bad for the four or five babies and kids that lined the hallway outside of Ana’s room.
Ana got cultures and blood drawn. Her temperature stayed below 100 but it was climbing by the time they discharged her at 5 and I gave her Tyloenol. Her white count was 8.3 (which is within normal) and Dr. Tugal (the attending Oncologist) came down and examined her. They put her on I.V. fluid for a few hours (I’m not exactly sure what the purpose of the fluid was. I feel like it’s what they do when they don’t know what else to do). Dr. Tugal nearly admitted Ana but ended up giving her a 12 hour antibiotic via the I.V. and said we could go home to wait for the results of the culture. She looked at the rash under Ana’s dressing and said we could keep the line uncovered for 25 minutes as long as we don’t touch it, and also cover it with gauze to protect her skin from the tegaderm until it clears up – but I’m not sure how to do that.
We will get the results of the culture in a day or two and in the meantime we’ll treat any fever with Tylenol. On the way home we stopped at the Palisades Center mall because Ana wanted a soft pretzel and to shop at Delia’s (her favorite store thanks to our friend Liz). If you’ve ever been to the Palisades mall you will know how insane this was – it’s huge. It’s like a city. There used to be a ferris wheel in the place. And there I was, with my sick child, weaving through the post Black Friday crowds in search of a soft pretzel and a cute top at Delia’s because I wasn’t about to say no to this kid. I felt like we were visitors from outer space. Everyone was Christmas shopping – they had that look of PURPOSE. But not us. We’d just dropped in on our way home from the E.R. to get Ana a t-shirt with a picture of a Penguin on it and a pretzel.
She’s asleep now and I’m just so damn glad to be home.